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1791: Mozart's Last Year [Paperback]

H. C. Robbins Landon
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

22 Mar 1999
The last month of the year 1791 witnessed what Robbins Landon calls "the greatest tragedy in the history of music" - the premature death of the 35-year-old Mozart. The event was surrounded by enigma and intrigue, allegations of poisoning and sexual scandal. Drawing on his knowledge of the sources, Professor Landon seeks to cut through the fantasy to present the facts and to reconstruct the story of the last year of Mozart's life. The composition of such works as the "Requiem", "The Magic Flute" and "La Clemenza di Tito" is discussed in detail, and light is thrown on Mozart's relations with the freemasons, with Salieri, Sussmayr and others.

Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson; New edition edition (22 Mar 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500281076
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500281079
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 670,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding book 22 Jun 2013
By hillbank68 TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a scholarly, but not heavy, account of Mozart's last year (he died, tragically young at the age of 35, at the end of December 1791 after a fairly short but very distressing illness). Robbins Landon is an authority of the highest repute and the book reflects his probing, meticulous approach on every page. It was a year full of incident, which only intensified as it moved forward until the astonishing month of September when the composer was engaged in the composition and staging of 'La Clemenza di Tito' in Prague, finalising the sublime Clarinet Concerto and writing 'Die Zauberflote' for Shickaneder's company in Vienna ; very movingly, his sister-in-law Josefa Hofer is the first Queen of the Night, presenting these hair-raising coloratura arias to the public for the very first time. Always there is Constanze, his devoted wife with whom despite all its turbulence - her difficult pregnancies and the deaths of four of their six children being foremost - his marriage is happy and fulfilling. What she must have experienced in her eight years or so with the composer! Suddenly, in November, out for a drive with her in the Prater, Mozart feels unaccountably ill. He himself suggests poisoning as a cause, though he withdrew that notion not long afterwards when he felt better - alas! only temporarily. Robbins Landon tells the story of those terrible final two months with clarity and compassion. He explodes the distortions in the entertaining film 'Amadeus', through which, unfortunately, many no doubt have a vision of Salieri as the devil incarnate (he was in fact only six years older than Mozart), Mozart as a yodelling buffoon and Constance as a sly dimwit, and gives a balanced account of what happened, with an interesting medical analysis from Dr. Peter Davies (though doctors in the late 18th. Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book 4 Dec 2011
This book is well researched interesting for musicians and not musicians and a glimpse into the reality of Mozart 's life .Some myths are destroyed too. Worth a try and a great read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Mozart's Last Year. 22 Feb 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A very interesting read. Full of well documented facts, many of which are little known. Many myths and speculations dealt with. Most enjoyable and informative. Adds greatly to listening, and performing his music.
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